Tag: Ian Watson

Squad | Hastings will remain a Devil

Salford Red Devils are delighted to announce the signing of halfback Jackson Hastings for the 2019 season.
Hastings – who arrived at the AJ Bell Stadium at the end of July – had a huge impact on the Red Devils end to the season crossing for five tries and guiding the side to a 1st place finish in The Qualifiers.
Hastings said: “In the end it was a pretty easy decision to be honest.
“When I laid in bed at night weighing up my options I really couldn’t see myself playing anywhere else over here.
“The amount of support the Club gave me through a tough time in my life, the love that I’ve got from the fans and the respect I’ve got from the playing group is something that if I’d walked away from it I know I wouldn’t have been happy with.
“I’m happy with my decision and hopefully we can kick on and have a good season next year.”
Head Coach Ian Watson said: “Signing Jackson for the 2019 season is a great piece of business by the Club and a great piece of business for Super League as a whole.
“His energy and enthusiasm around the Club and the boys is infectious and you can see in the games he’s played how it lifts people around him. We have always had effort and commitment from our team but Jackson has lifted the pressure and allowed others to just play and enjoy the game.
“Jackson wants to lead a team and be the dominant half and that fits perfectly within our team dynamics.
“I hope Jackson can continue to enjoy his football and show everyone over the next twelve months how good a signing he is.”
Director of Rugby and Operations Ian Blease said: “We are absolutely delighted to have Jackson put pen to paper on a new deal with our Club.
“I have been talking with Jackson for some time now about his options and he has now made his decision to stay with us based on our aims of building this team and Club year on year and becoming a major force in the Super League.
“Jackson was instrumental to our form and finish at the back end of this season and he has been fantastic in and around the Club over the past three months. He has great character, a winning mentality – which I admire greatly – and he is infectious.
“Jackson has developed a great relationship with the players, staff, fans and the City’s community as a whole in such a sport space of time at the Club and that’s a credit to him as a person.
“This signing is a real statement of intent and in that we’ve staved off some tough competition from other clubs to sign Jackson for the 2019 season.
“We now look to this wonderful City we play in, our fans & community to back these signings and purchase your 2019 Season Tickets so we can thrive as a Club – #TogetherStronger – in Super League.
“Following the huge signings of Joey Lussick and Jackson Hastings we will also be introducing a new scheme – The Squad Builder – next week for fans to help the Club purchase some more high-calibre names in the future.”

2019 Season Tickets are now available to purchase at the AJ Bell Stadium Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or by simply clicking HERE. For all 2019 Season Ticket prices click here.
To check out all FAQ’s regarding 2019 Season Tickets click here.  

Squad | Red Devils snare Joey Lussick

Salford Red Devils are delighted to confirm that Joey Lussick has signed a two-year deal with the Club.
Lussick arrived from Australia in August and featured in each of the Red Devils’ seven Qualifiers fixtures helping Salford to a 1st place finish, scoring two tries in the process.
Lussick, sponsored by Capricorn Security, said: “I’m really happy to have put pen to paper.
“Since I arrived here in The Qualifiers it’s certainly been interesting but the Club from day one has been amazing, and all the boys have brilliant too.
“I’m delighted to continue my future here at Salford Red Devils for the next couple of seasons. There’s a seriously friendly atmosphere around this place that makes you want to stay.”
Head Coach Ian Watson said: “We are really pleased to announce the retention of Joey. He’s been a massive lift alongside Jackson.
“He gave us some real good organisation and has been pivotal to the spine’s success in The Qualifiers in achieving the top of the league and best defensive record.
“He’s been a mainstay for us after the loss of Josh Wood through injury, and his ability to be able to play a quality eighty minutes has given us even more options.
“We are hoping we can build on the success on the coming season with Joey progressing in his own game.”
Director of Rugby and Operations Ian Blease said: “Getting Joey over the line for the next two seasons is massive for the Club.
“We’ve been in talks for a while and I’m delighted that Joey can see the ambition we have here at Salford Red Devils and that he wants to continue and further his career here.
“We’re continuing to work hard behind the scenes to complete more key signings ahead of the 2019 season.”
2019 Season Tickets are now available to purchase at the AJ Bell Stadium Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or by simply clicking HERE. 
For all 2019 Season Ticket prices click here.
To check out all FAQ’s regarding 2019 Season Tickets click here.  

Ian Watson | “We are focusing solely on this one game”

Of all the sides involved in the Qualifiers this season, the one which is the greatest unknown to the majority of fans, is Thursday’s visiting team from the south of France, Toulouse Olympique. 
Watson said: “We have watched every single game that Toulouse have played, in these Qualifiers, so as a coaching staff we are well aware of the threats they pose, and so it has now been a case of passing all this on to the players.
“We have identified our strengths and done a lot of practice around these, so that we get off to the best possible start.
“It’s been a busy couple of days going through all the videos of their previous six games, and taking out all the information from them to pass on to the players, who have been learning and recovering from the trip down to London.
“Defensively we were all right at times, but at other times we were a little bit soft by our standards, so even though it was low scoring there are a few things we can improve upon.
“Attack-wise we were poor, and our detail and skill level were way off. We thought that we had prepared really well but our mentality, on the day, was all wrong. If we had stuck with our processes in the first half, as we did start to do in the second half, we would have been in a better position by half time.
“Instead we started inventing things and consequently our game plan fell apart. We addressed this at half time, and did a whole lot better in the second half, scoring a couple of tries which, with a better start, would have won us the game.
“We have just had to ensure we don’t overload the players with too much for them to assimilate following last weekend. We left them alone for a couple of days so that both physically and psychologically they had chance to recover. Since then we have compared videos of out London game and Toulouse’s home game against Hull KR, and shown a number of similarities between the two, because if we repeat elements from last week we will just put ourselves under pressure again.”
Whatever the shortcomings from the weekend, it has certainly set up the final round of the fixtures for a grandstand finish, and in front of the television cameras.
“We absolutely have to focus on ourselves, make sure we get our mentality right and stick to what we have prepared and worked upon. We are focussing solely on Thursday night, as by doing all this, we will not have any match next week to bother about. As far as we’re concerned this is our last game.
“We are still in a really strong position because it is in our own hands. It is all down to us.”

Ian Watson | “We must focus on what we do well”

It has become more than apparent that as the individual rounds of the Qualifiers have unfolded the performances by this weekend’s opponents, London Broncos, have earmarked them as the surprise package of the tournament and they are a team Head Coach Ian Watson is very impressed by, also. 
Watson said: “They have a really good attitude and are a real credit to coaches, Danny Ward and Jamie Langley. They are both up for the Championship’s Coach of the Year award which shows what a great down they’ve done.
“When former coach Andrew Henderson left to join Warrington a number of players also moved on and it was widely expected the team would struggle this season, but they have improved on last season finishing second and are up for the Championship’s Team of the Year.
“They never give up and just keep grinding away, even when they have fallen twenty points behind.”
London Broncos caused an upset in the opening game of The Qualifiers when they knocked off Betfred Super League outfit Widnes Vikings  thanks to a late Jarrod Sammut drop-goal and Watson knows the threat the maverick halfback poses.
Watson said: “That is exactly his style of play and you just have to expect anything from him when he gets the ball. Alongside that though, the really noticeable thing is they stick to their processes and game plans extremely well and even Jarrod has bought into that too.
“All the players and backroom staff have stuck together to turn all the negative predictions on their head, and for me, they have the potential to be even more dangerous than either Toronto or Toulouse. They have been in contention in every game they have played.
“Both Toronto and Leeds felt that they had put themselves in commanding positions, but London came back at them and put them under real pressure, not only on the field but also on the scoreboard. They absolutely blew Toulouse away, and beat Super League opponents Widnes on the road.
“This game could be a real banana skin for us so we absolutely have to get our preparations right and then focus on what we do well.”
Jackson Hastings will serve the second of a two-game ban this weekend while Josh Wood – who occupied the role last week at the Emerald Headingley Stadium – is now suffering with an injury however Watson will welcome back another halfback option this weekend.
Watson said: “I thought all the boys who played did really well at Leeds. They knew they would have to do it tough, but they really stuck with all their processes and showed belief in them.
“Josh Wood, until his injury, did a really good job, in place of Jackson, while Rob Lui played particularly well and managed the game impeccably throughout along with Joey Lussick.
“Jack Littlejohn wasn’t quite ready last week and there was no point in taking risks at that stage of his recovery, but the extra week has been good for him and he is now fully fit and looking forward to the game on Saturday.”

It has been a difficult week off the field with a late rearrangement of Saturday’s fixture and the team are not impervious to these events in terms of preparation.
“It has affected things like being able to book hotels and coaches,” Watson said.
He added: “This has been a bit of nightmare because on a Saturday there is competition from football and rugby union, who have already got in first, so you end up having to adapt all your plans around what is left to you.
“We certainly couldn’t so without the money Sky Sports put in though so we just have to take the rough with the smooth.
“As far as playing is concerned, our training schedule is pretty well set, and we have a great backroom staff who are able to adjust things and minimise the effects on the players, but they also know that having to be flexible is part of being a professional.”

Squad | Ian Watson names 19-man to visit London Broncos

Head Coach Ian Watson has named his 19-man squad for this weekend’s trip to London Broncos in the Qualifiers.  
Ben Nakubuwai returns to the 19-man squad after picking up a shoulder knock a few weeks ago in the victory over Halifax.
Jack Littlejohn could feature for the first time in three months with fellow halfback Josh Wood missing out after picking up a knock last week against Leeds.
Jansin Turgut retains his place in the squad after debuting at the Emerald Headingley Stadium last weekend. Gavin Bennion could also feature for the first time since the win over Leeds Rhinos in July.
Greg Johnson is also included after a lay-off with a foot injury. Luke Burgess also returns to the squad after serving a one-game suspension following his red card in the win over Toronto Wolfpack.
Jackson Hastings will serve the second of a two-match suspension following his dismissal in the closing stages of the win over Toronto. Junior Sa’u just misses out with an arm injury. Lee Mossop, Lama Tasi and George Griffin are all out of the 19-man squad.
The full squad is as follows:
Gavin Bennion, Luke Burgess, Greg Burke, Mark Flanagan, Greg Johnson, Josh Jones, Craig Kopczak, Ryan Lannon, Joey Lussick, Tyrone McCarthy, Ben Nakubuwai, Derrell Olpherts, Jansin Turgut, Kris Welham, Niall Evalds, Rob Lui, Jack Littlejohn, Jake Bibby, Ed Chamberlain.
Tickets for this fixture are available at the AJ Bell Stadium Ticket Office and over the phone on 0161 786 1570 and are available to purchase up until 3pm on Friday 21st September.

Ian Watson | “We are going there to win”

Salford Red Devils are heading to the Emerald Headingley Stadium looking to maintain their 100% record in The Qualifiers however Ian Watson’s men will need to earn just their second victory at Leeds in the Super League era if they are to do so.
Watson said: “We have spoken together, as a group, that our attitude must be to go there and get the win by attacking Leeds, backing this up with solid defence, and playing throughout with the utmost confidence.”
“We haven’t been short in victories over them at the AJ Bell Stadium particularly in the past couple of seasons, and although previous Salford teams might have found it hard-going, when they have travelled over there we now have players in our ranks who have won there with other teams and know exactly how it is done.
“It will certainly be a good motivating factor to be one of the few Salford teams to go there and get the win. We need to be going there to get the two points we require which would then put the pressure on all the teams around us.
“Our win over them in the last fixture of the regular season will, nevertheless, be a considerably motivating factor for Leeds.”
Jackson Hastings – who debuted in instrumental fashion against Leeds earlier in the season – will miss the game through suspension but there are other halfbacks available to the Head Coach.
Watson said: “We do have a number of options any of which will cover Jackson’s absence. Jack Littlejohn has timed his recovery from injury to perfection and he held that role for most of the season prior to his injury. Josh Wood has filled in at halfback on occasions over recent weeks. I’d have full confidence in either of those two to step up and do a good job for us.
“We are a different team now from how we were earlier in the season, and we also have an additional hooker who can kick and has good organisational skills to go alongside those of whoever comes into the halves, to take the pressure of Rob Lui. It will be a good opportunity for us to show just how far we have progressed as a team.
“What Jackson has brought to us is that he leads by his enthusiasm. His kicking into the corners and then following through to make the first is great encouragement to the boys to get up there with him. He also generates that same enthusiasm in defence.
“It was his high level of competitiveness that was the cause of the incident with Gareth O’Brien, at the end of the match with Toronto. Circumstances just seemed to combine to bring about that outcome with the closed fist and contact with the head but I believe it was more carelessness than anything else.”

Academy | Over thirty students join Salford Red Devils

The Salford Red Devils U19 Category Three Academy have enrolled over thirty new students for the upcoming season.
This is an increase on last season’s numbers and all students were introduced to Salford Red Devils by meeting Head Coach Ian Watson, Director of Rugby and Operations Ian Blease and First Team Captain Lee Mossop.
Danny Barton, Salford Red Devils Academy Player Performance Manager, said: “It’s fantastic we’ve had such an appetite for the course and for people wanting to come and play Rugby League here at Salford.
“I felt it was important that they met the likes of Ian Watson, Ian Blease and Lee Mossop so they could get a feel of what representing this Club is all about and what is expected of them.
“I’ve been really impressed with the attitude of each student that has enrolled already and everyone seems to be looking forward to the season ahead.”
Head Coach Ian Watson said: “It’s important that we have a strong academy set-up to help us spot potential in the local area and further afield who could eventually run out for the Salford Red Devils first team.”
The team recently went to Prestatyn for a pre-season training camp – lasting a full weekend- which saw their fitness, skills and teamwork tested.
Barton said: “The pre-season training camp is the perfect opportunity for me as a Coach to look at what I’ve got at my disposal for the upcoming season.
“But, it’s also the perfect opportunity for the lads to bond as a team and begin to get to know each other more and start to the processes of becoming an actual team.
“I put the lads through their paces in Wales and the response from the lads was fantastic. They all knuckled down, worked hard with no complaints and really impressed me.
“We look like we’ve got some really talented players in the squad and I’m looking forward to seeing them develop here at Salford Red Devils.”
Since returning the Academy have been continuing to work hard with their first gym session of the year being hosted by Salford Red Devils partners at the AJ Bell Stadium – MultiFit Salford.
“It was good to get the lads in the gym and get them working on their strength heading into the season,” Barton said.
He added: “We’d like to thank Multifit for allowing us to use their fantastic facilities and the lads are looking forward to regularly heading into the gym throughout the season.”

Ian Watson | “We won’t show them any special treatment”

Following three consecutive wins in The Qualifiers, the Red Devils now prepare to the most talked about team in the game at the moment – Toronto Wolfpack. Although there is an undeniable aura surrounding the Canadian team this isn’t something Head Coach Ian Watson feels will faze his side.
Watson said: “There might be an element of that when you are having to travel over there because you are getting that new experience,  but for them coming to play us here we have to be focused entirely on the game and getting the result just as we would were we playing Wigan Warriors or St Helens. We can’t be showing them any special treatment.”
Looking ahead to the game with that perspective, there is a notable element of familiarity within the Wolfpack’s ranks, with a number of former Salford players from recent years including Jake Emmitt, Adam Sidlow, Cory Paterson, Olsi Krasniqi, Mason Caton-Brown and Gareth O’Brien.
Watson said: “Of those there is only Gareth O’Brien who has left us recently so he will still know a fair bit about us, as we do about him. It does make it more intriguing when there are players who have freshly gone there from us, but he fact that they are coming back to face their old club will ensure that a good welcoming committee is awaiting them.”
Having spent their inaugural two seasons playing their home and away fixtures in blocks as opposed to a regular home-away schedule they are not used to having to adjust to the regular travelling as Catalans Dragons have had to do.
“Because most of them are based here in the UK, the travelling issue is more significant to them when they are playing in, and having to travel to, Toronto. They certainly came back over quickly after their game last weekend, because they were at our game at Halifax on Sunday. It will be interesting to see how they cope with the travelling as the weeks go on though.”
The Wolfpack are going to provide stern opposition this weekend with quality all over the park.
“Their pack is more or less a Super League pack with the likes of Ashton Sims and Darcy Lusisck, who have had NRL experience, not to mention others of the quality of Andrew Dixon and Bob Beswick who are all good, smart, professionals.
“In the backs there is Chase Stanley who is an NRL stand-off, together with Scottish international Matty Russell. Plus they’ve got the pace of Mason Caton-Brown.
Even with three wins from three, Ian Watson is not letting complacency slips in as he knows there is still a long way to go on the road to securing Super League status for the 2019 season.
“Ten points minimum is what is going to be needed in order to be safe, and the job is nothing like done until we have those, and even after that when five matches have been won we would want to win the remainder which would possibly be all seven.
“We shall just go game by game, and for now that means ensuring our processes are right going into this weekend’s game against Toronto.”
Welcome the Wolfpack! 
Tickets for our next home game against Toronto Wolfpack on Saturday 8th September are available to purchase at the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or SAVE MONEY by buying online, just CLICK HERE.

Squad | Ian Watson names 19-man to welcome the Wolfpack

Head Coach Ian Watson has named his 19-man squad for this weekend’s huge Qualifiers battle with Toronto Wolfpack at the AJ Bell Stadium, 3:15pm kick-off.
George Griffin returns to the squad following a lay-off and could make his first appearance for the Red Devils since our trip to Warrington at the end of June.
Lee Mossop also returns to the 19-man squad after missing the game against Halifax. Fellow forward Luke Burgess retains his place following an impressive return last weekend at the MBi Shay Stadium.
Head Coach Ian Watson has confirmed that Ben Nakubuwai is struggling with a shoulder injury picked up in the win over Halifax and will miss this weekend’s game. Daniel Murray is the other change to the 19-man squad.

The 19-man squad in full can be seen below: 
Kris Welham, Junior Sa’u, Niall Evalds, Robert Lui, George Griffin, Josh Jones, Mark Flanagan, Lama Tasi, Ryan Lannon, Luke Burgess, Tyrone McCarthy, Josh Wood, Derrell Olpherts, Lee Mossop, Jake Bibby, Ed Chamberlain, Greg Burke, Jackson Hastings, Joey Lussick.
Welcome the Wolfpack! 
Tickets for our next home game against Toronto Wolfpack on Saturday 8th September are available to purchase at the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or SAVE MONEY by buying online, just CLICK HERE.

Tickets | Toronto are next up

Following an impressive 4-62 victory over Halifax RLFC yesterday afternoon the Red Devils are now preparing for a huge clash with Canadian side Toronto Wolfpack.
Ian Watson’s men will be looking to make it four from four in The Qualifiers and edge one step closer to Betfred Super League status for the 2019 season.
And, you can purchase your tickets in the quickest, simplest and cheapest way right now!
Salford Red Devils are offering all fans £2 off tickets if they purchase online in advance of the game. In addition, you can print your ticket at home meaning you don’t even have to leave the house to secure your seat at the AJ Bell Stadium.
You can avoid the queues, miss the midweek hassle and save money by clicking HERE.
Get behind Ian Watson and the boys as they look to earn a fifth consecutive victory and a third in a row at the AJ Bell Stadium!
Welcome the Wolfpack! 
Tickets for our next home game against Toronto Wolfpack on Saturday 8th September are available to purchase at the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or SAVE MONEY by buying online, just CLICK HERE.